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NIKE-WIEDEN & KENNEDY MARRIAGE ON THE ROCKS?
Published February 7, 1995
The relationship between Nike and its ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, "is becoming less important as Nike is forced to focus its attention beyond the U.S.," according to the latest issue of ADVERTISING AGE. One "Nike insider" said that the agency, with offices in only Portland, OR, and Amsterdam, "may lose some U.S. creative work this year." Wieden & Kennedy was involved in Nike's upcoming $60M revived "Just do it" campaign, which will include a Spike Lee-directed spot featuring Michael Jordan and Lee's Mars Blackmon character. Last week at the SuperShow in Atlanta, Nike VP/Marketing Liz Dolan said the "refocus" on "Just do it" is not a repudiation of Wieden & Kennedy's recent efforts, but an attempt to "shift back to image from product-focused advertising." But Dolan added: "There was a time just three years ago when we and Wieden had the space to be more off the wall. ... But different times call for a different strategy." While the agency is still viewed by many as Nike's "house shop," Wieden recently began an image campaign for Microsoft. AD AGE's Jeff Jensen reports, "There's talk that comments within Wieden about Microsoft being the 'where the future of the agency lies' got back to Nike" (ADVERTISING AGE, 2/6 issue). NIKE'S EIGHT "BIG IDEAS": Nike plans to focus its efforts this year on its eight "Big Ideas": Air technology, team sports, sport training, its new Ndestrukt shoes, street hockey, all- conditions gear, soccer and Nike F.I.T. apparel. Liz Dolan said the company's goal is to "dominate the field of play" (Heather Pauley, BLOOMBERG/WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/7). SWOOSH BALL: Nike announced that it signed an exclusive licensing deal with sporting goods maker VSI, formerly Voit, to place the Nike label on soccer balls, footballs, basketballs and volleyballs. A Nike soccer ball is expected this spring. While the sale of Nike balls will be restricted to authorized dealers of Nike footwear, the company also hopes to sell to schools. It is Nike's third licensing deal since last week when they announced deals with Jantzen on swimwear and H.H. Cutler on children's clothing (Jeff Manning, Portland OREGONIAN, 2/3).